Guidelines for Submissions
Recipe for A Winning Chicken Soup for the Soul submission
A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.
Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an end. The stories often close with a punch, creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have heart, but also something extra—an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A good story causes tears, laughter, goose bumps or any combination of these.
The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.
Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul story
1. Tell an exciting, heartwarming or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Your story should be written in the first person and should be about yourself or someone close to you.
2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh, get goose bumps or say “Wow!”
3. The story should start “in the action” and draw in the reader. Do not start your story with an introduction about what you are going to say, or end with a concluding paragraph about what you just said.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. Many people tell personal stories for the first time in our books, and they find it to be a cathartic and productive experience. We do let you use a pen name for your story if you do not want to use your real name.
5. Don’t try fancy moves with tenses. Writing in the present tense about something that happened in the past rarely works.
5. Keep your story to 1200 words or less. Tighten, tighten, tighten!
6. Your story must be true. No fiction, no creative writing.
What a Chicken Soup for the Soul story IS NOT:
1. A sermon, an essay or eulogy.
2. An "as told to" story written by you for someone else. If you ghost-write a story for someone, we thank you for helping that person share his or her story. That person’s name will be listed as the author and he or she can acknowledge your help in the bio section.
3. A term paper, thesis, letter or journal entry.
4. About politics or controversial issues.
5. A biography or testimonial.
6. A journalistic article about a third party that reads like a newspaper article.
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